To hook up a VCR to a cable television box, first insert a coaxial cable into the Out port of the cable box. Place the alternate end of the coaxial cable into the In port of the VCR.
To fully set up the television system, run the cable from the wall into the In port of the cable box. Run another coaxial cable from the VCR's Out port to the television.
VCRs, or video cassette recorders, can record from a television broadcast and play back video recordings. They come with tuners that allow the machine to receive television broadcasts and a clock with a timer to allow the user to set start and end times for recording.
The first incarnation of the VCR occurred in 1956 and, at the price of $50,000, was only available to television studios. In 1963, the model was improved on to include reel-to-reel recording, and in 1965, both Sony and RCA released home versions priced under $1,000. Reel-to-reel recording was soon replaced by the invention of the videocassette, and by 1970, a VCR utilizing that technology was available for home use. VCRs became increasingly popular in the 1970s and 1980s as the technology improved and the price dropped.
VCRs maintained their popularity through the 1990s, despite the drawback of malfunctioning during temperature changes and occasionally ruining videocassettes because of other internal functions. Their popularity declined with the advent of laserdiscs, and DVDs eventually made them obsolete.